The Orchard

The tall oak basked in the warm glow of the late afternoon sun, the old man before it a child in its shadow. William always enjoyed this time of day. The warmth put some much needed ease into his old joints. The orchard was large, and he had a ways to go.

The oak was his son Matt’s, William’s first child. Planted on the day he was born, the tree still reflected how the man had been in life. Strong. Brave. Kind. A soldier up until the day he caught a bullet in a faraway war. He had been the first of William’s children to go, and the tree had shown it. The day Matt passed, all leaves had fallen, as if its very soul had been torn out of its bark. But unlike Matt, the tree had recovered, as if to show the world that a man like him is not that easily erased. William believed that his son’s spirit lived on in the oak.

Next was the rosewood, a beautiful tree that had no right to exist in this climate. Its stubbornness was akin to William’s daughter Gwen’s, its fragrance a tribute to her elegance. Gwen had been a struggler in her young years, marked by many as the beauty who lacked the brains. She always got what she wanted because of her looks, and nobody expected her to achieve greatness. It was something she would not stand for. She studied hard and astounded everyone by becoming a renowned trauma surgeon. It was a cruel twist of fate that it was a trauma that took her, in the simple shape of a speeding car. She died on impact. William was in the orchard at the time and saw the leaves fall.

William’s third child, Zoe, had had a willow for a tree. It was a small, sickly, misshapen thing that seemingly clung on to life. It wanted to live. Zoe had died young, still a child. Illness had marked her from the day she was born. The doctors had given her one week. She had stretched it to seven beautiful years, filled with countless smiles and priceless memories. But the day had come. The leaves had fallen.

When William lost his wife, that was it for him. He had nothing left but his memories, standing tall in the orchard. He spent his days wandering, wondering about times past. He spent his days in waiting.

He turned the final corner and smiled at what he saw. The dirt was covered with leaves, his tree completely bare. At the sight, a heavy pain rose in his chest, but it was welcomed. As William collapsed, there was a glisten in his eyes, a happiness.

He would see his family again.

About Martin Hooijmans

Martin Hooijmans is a writer, a traveler and the founding editor of Story Shack. He has a profound love for storytelling and a mind overflowing with ideas. Currently, he’s based in Munich and working as a SEO and front-end developer. Also check out his new project: relgrowth

>> Martin Hooijmans's author page

More Drama stories

Discover our random name generators

Medieval Name Generator Warrior Cat Name Generator Irish Name Generator Magazine Name Generator Necromancer Name Generator Paladin Name Generator Superpower Generator Cat Name Generator Russian Name Generator Fairy Name Generator Polish Name Generator Oasis Name Generator Car Name Generator Nickname Generator Elf Name Generator German Name Generator Pokemon Name Generator Prison Name Generator Korean Name Generator Halfling Name Generator Jewish Name Generator Hippie Name Generator Truck Name Generator Graffiti Tag Generator Mexican Name Generator Orc Name Generator Continent Name Generator Kobold Name Generator Species Name Generator First Name Generator Bounty Hunter Name Generator Monster Name Generator Troll Name Generator Drink Name Generator Human Name Generator Story Title Generator Castle Name Generator Disease Name Generator Alien Name Generator Superhero Name Generator

Would you like to see more? Then check out our full list of random name generators.

The Story Shack offers a wide range of flash fiction, writing tools and random name generators. Enjoy reading stories, get help writing them or generate names for anything you need, be it huge Triple A Games or awesome Indie ones, D&D roleplaying adventures, science fiction movies or perhaps even a newborn child. Whatever you're here for, thanks for stopping by and please enjoy your stay!